top of page

About Karen McMillan

Karen Rainbow Cove.jpg

Karen McMillan has written a bunch of bestselling books for adults, but she is now enjoying writing the Elastic Island Adventures for children.

There are now seven chapter books in the Elastic Island Adventures series, which are all standalone novels which can be read in any order. 

Younger readers can enjoy the picture book Blong the Cat’s Costume Capers. And the entire family can enjoy The Quokka Logic and Baking Book!

Blong the Cat features in many of the books and is a real-life cat that Karen and her husband rescued as a starving kitten from Vanuatu, taking him to live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Heathcliff the Dog features in three books in the Elastic Island Adventures series, and he is based on Karen’s husband real-life dog of the same name.

In some ways, Karen is a mix of Emma and Kiri from the Elastic Island Adventures books. Like Emma, Karen loves reading wouldn't want to climb a mountain. Like Kiri, Karen loves to swim and to sing.

Karen loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to write to her at

Find out more about Karen at


‘We were privileged to host Karen McMillan as part of the 2019 Tauranga Arts Festival, Schools Festival programme.
The feedback has been that the children were really engaged at all times. Karen has an amazing personality which
children easily connect with, and I have no hesitation in recommending Karen and the work she does.’

Jo Bond,
Festival Director 


‘Karen is a fantastic presenter, full of enthusiasm. She had 200 Year 5 and 6 kids captivated for a whole hour and the kids were queuing up to get the whole Elastic Island Adventures series from the library afterwards. I had to buy extra copies of each book to cope with the demand, which is the best reaction I’ve ever had to an author visit! I would have Karen back again in a heartbeat.’

Zac McCallum

Halswell School Library


Karen event.jpg

School and Festival Events

Karen has done numerous events in the last few years with schools, bookshops, libraries, as well as the following festivals:
Devonport Arts Festival, April 2017
Going West Festival, September 2017
Brisbane Book Week, August 2018 (thanks to Creative NZ Funding)
Devonport Arts Festival, April 2019
Tauranga Arts Festival, October 2019

Hamilton Book Month, August 2021 and August 2022

Karen also has a growing media presence. She was the resident book reviewer on The Cafe TV3 for two years, and there are numerous articles and interviews in print, TV and radio.

Want to invite Karen to do an event at your school or festival?  Just email her at to see about her availability.

Karen event Campbells Bay low res.jpg
Halswell School 3 low res.jpg
The Cafe low res.jpg

'Karen is such an engaging and entertaining author and presenter.  She was thoroughly prepared with a presentation about her books and characters and then made the session interactive with a skit from one of her books, involving the children to play parts.  The Q&A session could have gone on forever as the children had so many questions.  Her high engagement was reflected in the number of books that the children purchased and had signed.  I would personally recommend Karen McMillan to come and visit any school. She was such a delight to host and she was so organised and absolutely fantastic with the children.'

Jo Apperley

Campbells Bay School


bottom of page